Dental hygienists can receive their education in a number of ways. Thanks to today’s technology, in addition to colleges and universities, there are also online offerings for dental hygienists to receive certificates in their profession and even for those already holding degrees to continue to the next level of education. But just what are the options and what kind of dental hygienist training is available to people either already working or those who are considering the field?
For those just beginning their education to becoming a dental hygienist, education is the first and foremost objective. Once they have received a basic grounding point in dental hygiene, they can begin working in a laboratory setting. It is in this setting that their dental hygienist training will begin, where they will work on computer simulations or mannequins to learn the proper techniques necessary for performing all the functions of a dental hygienist.
From there, dental hygienist training will continue in a clinical setting. Here, students will work side by side with another hygienist who will shadow them for a time, guiding and instructing the student as they get comfortable with their work environment.
Once education has been completed, the new dental hygienist will have to seek state licensing. Once they have passed a written exam, the dental hygienist will then be tested on their clinical work, and from there it will be determined whether or not they will be certified.
However, dental hygienist training does not stop once state certification has been obtained and a job has been secured. Continuing education is an integral part of a dental hygienist’s career. Methods and techniques, as well as tools and technology are constantly being updated, which means that a dental hygienist must be up to date. This also includes laws and regulations that the hygienist must follow.
There are also conventions dental hygienists may attend in order to meet with colleagues and attend seminars for the latest information and education. It is also at these events where dental hygienist training demonstrations may and will also be conducted as applicable.
Every state also requires that dental hygienists renew their licensing every year. And while this may not always require that a dental hygienist retakes the written and clinical examination, it may require attendance at dental hygienist training seminars and other continuing education events.
Just as there are a variety of ways to go about obtaining your degree in dental hygiene, there are also a variety of ways in which to continue your dental hygienist training long after you’ve been certified. There are a plethora of online courses available in continuing education that allow you to work both at your own pace, as well as on your own schedule. Various other classes may be held in the evenings so as not to interfere with work schedules, and conventions may be scheduled on the weekends to make taking time off more convenient.
Education is an important part of everyone’s lives, and especially for those who work in the health care field. Dental hygienist training does not stop once you’ve graduated and become certified – it is simply the beginning.